Differences between Intel Core i7, i5, i3 microprocessor

intelcore Differences between Intel Core i7, i5, i3 microprocessor

Intel Core is the main line of microprocessors from Intel for the consumer computer market. Versions are offered in Intel Core i7, i5 and i3, and other like Core M ultra low voltage and other brands such as Pentium or Celeron.

Intel offers an informative website that allows knowing in detail your specifications through its model number. Useful to know the  characteristics of the particular chip installed on a computer or when choosing the right processor for your computing needs.

However, it is not always easy to distinguish between both model, variant and platform complete a huge catalog. The main differences between the Core i7, i5, and i3.

Understanding Model Numbers

The numbering system helps us know the basic benefits and the primary focus of a microprocessor without reading the full actual specifications. Of course, before making a purchasing decision it is advisable to check all the details on page ark.intel.com.

Basically speaking, it is very simple. An Intel Core i7 processor has more than one Core i5, which in turn is greater than a Core i3 performance. We see it as “modifier brand” in the numbering system used.

intel-web-480-270Another number to consider is the “indicator generation”. The number 6 corresponds to the sixth generation of Core processors Skylake; No. 5 is the fifth generation of Core processors, codenamed Broadwell and the number 4 corresponds to the fourth generation or Haswell.

The next three digits correspond to “model number”, which usually in the same series, offers bigger is a superior performance. As an example, an Intel Core i3-5350 would exceed a Core i3-5200.

Optional suffixes

The letters that accompany the model number indicates the product line. Among others:

  • “K”: Desktop – Multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking
  • “T”: Desktop – Optimized for power
  • “HK”: Handheld – High-performance graphics and Multiplier
  • “H”: Portable – High-performance graphics
  • “HQ”: Portable – High-performance graphics and CPU core four
  • “U”: Portable – Consumer Ultra Low
  • “Y”: Portable – Low power consumption – Used in previous lines


Usually, the series Core i3 models only have two physical cores, while Core i5 and Core i7 series processors are both dual – core and quad – core.

In addition, Intel uses a technology called Hyper-Threading which enables running multiple processing threads  in parallel within a single processor, increasing the use of execution units. Hyper-Threading simulates two logical processors within a single physical core increasing performance. The Core i3 and Core i7 series have this technology while Core i5 does not have it enabled.


Turbo Boost

Another technology that Intel implemented in some series to  increase the operating frequency, automatically, under certain circumstances, when an application or game requires more resources.

For activation, Turbo Boost calculates active nuclei, consumption, and temperature microprocessor. Turbo Boost is useful in performing software that makes intensive use of resources.

It is enabled on the Core i5 and Core i7 series, while not used in Core i3 processors.


Cache Size

Another important difference is the microprocessor ‘s internal memory or cache. It is much faster than the computer’s RAM or storage units. Like the RAM and usually, the higher capacity, the higher performance processor will be.

When the microprocessor is performing a task over and over again, it keep this task in its cache. If a processor can store more tasks in its internal memory then it will run faster.

The Core i3 series is normally up to 3 Mbytes of cache. The Core i5 series has between 3 MB and 6 MB cache, while the Core i7 series is between 4 MB and 8 MB cache.

Integrated graphics

Since Intel began integrating a graphics chip in its processors, the choice of the model also has become another important point of purchase. Currently, the company offers three general levels of integrated graphics,  Intel HD, Intel Iris and Intel Iris Pro.

If the computer that is integrated processor and dedicated graphics does not always go to work with an integrated processor, it is another element to consider when choosing the processor.



Overall we could differentiate Intel Core easily depending on the purpose of use and budget.

  • Core i3:  Users looking for basic, inexpensive equipment. Ideal for running applications such as office automation suite, navigation and Internet services, and multimedia entertainment.
  • Core i5:  intermediate equipment for users seeking the balance between performance and price, and all kinds of uses.
  • Core i7:  The most powerful models in process performance with up to 4 cores and 8 threads, and also in graphics power when combined with Iris Pro.